R V. GEORGE
The Defendant (St. George) got into an argument with the victim, a Mr Durant. During the course of this argument, the Defendant took out a gun and pointed it at Mr Durant. The gun was, in fact, not loaded. He was in any event prevented from taking further action by a third party. The Defendant was prosecuted for assault. It was held by the court that in the circumstances the Defendant was guilty of an assault. Threatening someone with a gun, regardless of whether the gun was loaded, would amount to a threat as long as the victim thought that the gun was in fact loaded. On the other hand, where the victim was aware that the gun was not loaded, but was still afraid, that fear would be unreasonable and therefore there would be no assault in those circumstances. The test applied is subjective, but there must be at least a subjective possibility that the threat against the victim can be carried out.
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